Interview Guide Design

This document provides guidelines for creating an interview guide using Microsoft Word, and for transcribing interview notes to the guide. If these guidelines are followed, it is possible to create complex interview guides from which codes and comments can be imported to Word.

Importing from an interview transcript is driven by the Word styles you use. Styles are things like Heading 1, Heading 2, Normal, etc. If you are interested in learning more about Word styles, a lot of information is available on the Internet. A good place to start is Style basics in Microsoft Word . You can also create custom styles with names that describe what it is for. For example, you can define a style named “Code Level 1” for your top level codes. When you import an interview transcript, Symphony checks to see which styles you used and lists them so you can choose which ones to map to content. Symphony tries to map the styles for you as follows:

  1. If you use a style named “Comment”, Symphony will assume that texts using this style are comments and will map that style to the Comments field on the Import Word form.
  2. If you use styles named “Code Level 1”, “Code Level 2” etc., Symphony will assume texts using these styles are part of your initial coding structure (usually top level categories and questions respectively) and will map them accordingly.
  3. If Symphony doesn’t find styles matching #2 above, it will check to see whether you used styles named “Heading 1”, “Heading 2” etc. and will map them.
  4. If neither 2 or 3 are applicable, no styles will be mapped for your coding structure. If you used other styles for your initial coding structure, you can map them manually by dragging them onto the corresponding fields.
  5. If no styles are mapped to code structure fields, Symphony will code all the imported comments to the Unassigned code.

To make the interview guide easy to use, it is recommended that the style you use for comments be distinguished with a bullet, and that you have one in each place where a comment could be transcribed. This way the person transcribing the interview can simply click in the right place and start typing. (Note that Symphony does not care about the bullet or recognized it; this is merely an ease-of-use tip for the benefit of the transcriber.)

The style used for comments should be defined such that the “Style for following paragraph” setting in the Word style dialog is set to the same style. For example, if your style for comments is called “Comment”, ensure that the “Style for following paragraph” also say “Comment”. This will ensure that every time the transcriber hits the enter key to create a new paragraph, the ensuing text will also be picked up as a comment.

Each paragraph using the comment style is imported as a separate comment. So when transcribing to the interview guide, it is best to hit the enter key to start a new paragraph each time the idea in the notes changes. Comments can be split once they are imported, but it is easier simply to hit the enter key while transcribing.

Symphony can only identify the style used at the beginning of a paragraph. So it is important to use “hard carriage returns” (the enter key) after codes. Otherwise the ensuing text will be picked up as part of the code.

Tags and tag groups can also be imported by mapping styles to them. If a Tag is imported before a Tag Group is imported, Symphony assigns the Tag to the first Tag Group in the project. If none exists, Symphony creates a group called "Default".